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Child Obesity: The Effects And Why Parents Should Be Doing More
Childhood obesity is a rapidly growing epidemic in Western culture, and we have become one of the most inactive generations. In medical terms, we would say that obesity for all people is an excess of fat tissue on the body in relation to height, age, gender and other factors.
There are many factors for measuring body weight, but the most common is BMI (body mass index). The BMI test takes into account many factors related to the patient and is compared to the average scale of what someone’s weight should be for their height, age and gender.
An alarming problem that we are facing today is the increase in childhood obesity, which is visible in children from two to 17 years of age.
Children are becoming less active in their lifestyle, especially with the advancement of technology, and consuming larger amounts of junk food, leading to them being classified as obese. The sad fact is that 99% of parents would know this to be true, but very few seem to be overcoming the problem.
So what does this mean for me as a parent?
As we all know, with the help of pediatric and maternal nurses, we are able to regularly monitor our child’s health in their earlier stages of development. Additionally, once we get past the age of 3 to 4, routine checkups come to an end and we are encouraged to continue this practice ourselves.
I can assure you that this is not an expensive process, and if you are not that good at math, there are many resources available online to help you calculate your child’s weight.
What are the effects of obesity in children?
The challenge here is the fact that every child is different, and diagnosing the effects of obesity or an inactive lifestyle on a child can be difficult if there are only minor symptoms. What we do know is that a child can be affected in many areas of two main categories, the first being psychological and the second being physical.
Psychological effects –
To many, this would seem like common sense, but since we have studied the fields of PT, one of the biggest factors we are taught to be aware of is psychological issues. It is quite alarming to see how many people cannot cope with the stress and psychological problems of another human being, and it shows that adequate support may not be provided when it is needed.
My experience as a personal trainer, as well as growing up as a teenager in a world filled with endless technological advancements, the open world that is the internet, and a society that is more socially accepting of issues that were once never talked about, is that these issues definitely exist. One of my biggest concerns is the media portrayal of the “Perfect Woman” and the fact that I am a single parent raising a daughter. I have no doubt at all that my daughter, like many other women, will be exposed to peer pressure represented by the media and their view of what a woman should be.
Another concern of mine is the ongoing effects of bullying on obese children. Admitting that as humans we are open to criticism for many other things than just weight issues, the hard fact here is that obesity is something that can be overcome, and we as parents are responsible for our child’s health and positive mindset. future years.
Low self-esteem, depression, even suicide can be a long-term consequence of childhood obesity, as correlated with the health implications, the above psychological problems are an underlying factor that many may never be able to overcome in adulthood. This is a worrying issue and I know that as a parent of a beautiful and happy, healthy and active child, I would never forgive myself if her adulthood was affected by something that I, as a parent, could have prevented.
So this leads us to the long-term side effects of obesity in relation to health in our infancy, teenage, adolescent and adult years, the physical effects that obesity has on our bodies.
Physical Effects –
The harsh reality and sad fact is that for many children, the effects of obesity have already taken a heavy toll on their bodies. The promising thing to remember is that it’s never too late to change, and changing to an active and healthy lifestyle can, believe it or not, add years to your child’s life.
The dangers we face as an increasingly obese nation are health implications such as shorter life expectancy, lethargy, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and even cancer.
Any of these health implications can have a dramatic effect on a person’s life, both in the early stages of development and in later years, which is why it is important to combat the effects of childhood obesity as soon as possible.
We have many options for how we can combat the physical effects of obesity, but the simplest way to put it is to “get up and get active.”
Our children deserve a fast start in life and what better way to do that than to be an active role model in their lives, providing them with the quality information they crave to learn from such a young age.
It is important that we teach our children the basics of life, and we notice this through their development through the ability to walk then run, mumble then speak, as well as by the independence they acquire throughout life.
We influence them every day by the way we interact with them, and this forms the basis of morals and ideals for the rest of their lives. At this age we can promote healthy and active lifestyles and support this development during their dependent years.
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